24.8.05

Is it a good thing guys can't use this excuse anymore?"
jimihendrix.jpg
CNN.com - The strange life of Jimi Hendrix - Aug 15, 2005

In regular visits to the base psychiatrist at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in spring 1962, Hendrix complained that he was in love with one of his squad mates and that he had become addicted to masturbating, Cross writes. Finally, Capt. John Halbert recommended him for discharge, citing his 'homosexual tendencies' -- four years before Arlo Guthrie suggested that path for avoiding military service in the protest song 'Alice's Restaurant.'

Hendrix's legendary appetite for women negates the notion that he might have been gay, Cross writes. Nor, Cross says, was his stunt politically motivated: Contrary to his later image, Hendrix was an avowed anti-communist who exhibited little unease about the escalating U.S. role in Vietnam.

He just wanted to escape the Army to play music -- he had enlisted to avoid jail time after being repeatedly arrested in stolen cars in Seattle, his hometown.

I find this little bit of news hysterical and yet, appalling. It's funny because it is the classic trikster cop-out; mostly popularized by that ambiguously heterosexual icon of US popular culture, Bugs Bunny. On the other hand, it is a great example of homosexuality has been marginalized as a disease.

Even worse though is the realization that there was nothing ideologically revolutionary about this man. All what Jimmy Hendrix wanted was drugs, sex and rock 'n roll. That is, ideologically speaking. In practice though, should we consider his life otherwise? Was it revolutionary enough for a black man to want no politics but drugs, sex and rock 'n roll and get what he wanted?



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(Via c u l t u r e k i t c h e n.)



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